The reasons for designing and flying vehicles that are capable of global reach in the time taken to read the morning newspaper are technically attractive and militarily obvious. The economic and social justifications are perhaps less easily pinned down, but are nonetheless compelling. What will be the impact of treating Sydney as a commuter suburb for Beijing, or of being able to visit Antipodean gran for Sunday roast – with a serious prospect of being home in time for dinner and telly? — Washington Post
It was only a matter of time before someone saw the commercial potential of drones. Their compact size and swift mobility makes them ideal vehicles for transporting goods and information around the crowded streets of a city.
Amazon has recently been testing the potential for drone deliveries, but Russian creative agency Hungry Boys’ campaign has brought a new dimension to both advertising and drone use. — popupcity.net
In collaboration with fifteen poets and community activists from StartUp Box South Bronx, I recently created Memories of the Future, a location-based cinema project viewed on mobile phones. The group experimented with spoken word poetry, site specific performance, and on-site spectatorship to reframe the predominant view of Hunts Point and speak about possibilities for its future from a position of power. — urbanomnibus.net
Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm [...] The extra sharp images from Worldview-3 will greatly increase the maps' level of detail to the point where it can make out 10-inch objects, which means Google will soon be able to see “manholes and mailboxes” [...] — Motherboard
DigitalGlobe launched the first commercial satellite yesterday. Google, Microsoft, and several US government agencies are customers of DigitalGlobe. Such sharp images would be able to make out human faces, which, coupled with facial recognition software, could start to sound like a sci-fi...
But the intricate fantasy environments imagined for games like GTA V may well prove more useful than they seem. Now the technologies and tools developed by this multibillion dollar entertainment industry are making changes in the real world.
John Isaacs, a lecturer in computing at the University of Abertay, is one of those exploring the possibilities of game engines. In 2011, he developed an urban mapping application for his PhD project. — theguardian.com
Enter the UltraRope, a new kind of lift cable developed by Finnish elevator company Kone. Eschewing woven steel cable in favour of carbon fibre, the UltraRope is described as “lift-hoisting technology” [...]. Strong and lightweight, the UltraRope will supposedly allow lifts to travel up to 1km in a single run, double what’s currently possible with a steel cable. The UltraRope is 90% lighter than the equivalent steel cable, thereby reducing the load and enabling far taller continuous runs. — theguardian.com
A Motor City Mapping app will make it possible for users to snap photos of properties and text them to the public database. (They are trying to brand a new word to describe this process — the awful-sounding “blexting.”) These will be quality-checked before going onto the database, and the hope is that users will participate in training sessions before pointing, clicking and sending. Several “blexting bootcamps,” will be held in coming weeks. — nextcity.org
The North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday received a $1.9 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation for art education research. The grant will establish a high-tech education center that will serve as a portal for accessing the museum’s collection, exhibitions and programs. — WRAL
Ever since I spotted FiftyThree's beautifully designed iPad pen, aptly called “Pencil”, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one (like literally).Made by the creators of the award-winning “Paper” drawing and sketching app for the iPad, Pencil is promised to be “the most natural and...
I’m a quiet fan of these urban explorers, people who devote time to poking around abandoned buildings or “haikyo”.... And because I’ve spent so much time inhabiting digital rooms myself, I often think about how time decays digital structures. I imagine all of the strings of text that have come before or after mine that similarly disappeared into the void. But what happens when those spaces stick around, as in a virtual world—when they can’t physically decay? — theatlantic.com
Artist Julien F. Thomas and architecture office Hughes Condon Marler have designed a coffee bar in Vancouver that disconnects you from all wireless networks once you’re inside.
The Faraday Café in Vancouver got its name from the Faraday Cage, a material shield around the bar’s interior that was built by the designers to block all electromagnetic signals. By creating a place without any digital connections the owners [...] hope to restore non-digital, social interaction between people. — popupcity.net
Architects and builders all over the world seem to be participating in a fictional rat race to build the very first 3D-printed house. In the past five years we’ve seen quite some drawings and models of 3D-printed architecture, but only few architects have the printers running until now. In this article we’ll compare five of the most prominent 3D-printing initiatives in the world to find out what 3D-printed architecture has in store for the coming years. — popupcity.net
The Municipal Art Society of New York has developed a new tool that shows where development could bring the most change across the city's five boroughs. This resource is a continuation of the group's "Accidental Skyline" initiative, an effort to curb the "as-of-right" development (which allows developers to bypass some regulatory hurdles) that has resulted in some of New York's tallest and skinniest new skyscrapers. — citylab.com
A new technique developed by a Binghamton University physicist and his colleagues will improve the quality of flexible, conductive, transparent glass. (The sort that's needed for Minority Report-style giant computer displays.)[...] Creating a more reliable production process for a-IGZO will save electronics manufacturers money. It could also reduce energy use, as a fully transparent display can take advantage of ambient light and does not require as much backlighting. — ScienceDaily
Advances in technologies such as this one will enable glass to go beyond transparency and become screens, with the potential to radically change architecture and urbanism. A future in which windows, doors, and even walls could stream movies or display art is fast approaching. LED and LCD screens...
Super-starchitect Lord Norman Foster and his friends at the European Space Agency stunned the world last year with a plan to build a lunar base by 3D-printing it with moon dust. But what happens when you try something like that on Earth? How is 3D printing changing the way we build cities?
I got the chance to ask Foster just that question at the Center for Architecture in New York City last night. — gizmodo.com
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